Spending time and money on a college education does not necessarily guarantee you will be successful as a business owner. Here’s why you may want to consider waiting until after you’ve started a business to pursue the right skills.

When it comes to starting a business, so many people think “I’m not an expert, there’s no way I can start a business. No one is going to take me seriously, and I definitely won’t get paid!”

Unfortunately, in America, we are dealing with an epidemic of over-educated, underpaid wage chasers because our success equation is backward. The information you’ll find in this article not only applies to starting your own business, but it’s also for anyone that want’s a lucrative, fulfilling job.

We will first explain how most people acquire skills and then how successful people acquire skills. Hopefully, this will help you understand that you don’t have to be an expert to start your own business. In fact, not being an expert is a better position to be in.

How the Average Person Acquires Skills

Most people believe that the only way to succeed is to go to college and get an advanced degree. Unfortunately, people usually don’t believe what they see. In one survey, around 46% of workers in America claim to be “underemployed” and 76% of those state that it is because they are not currently using their degrees.

Still, they are following the same routine:

  • Spend time and money acquiring skills
  • Go to the job market with those skills
  • ????
  • Profit?  

Let’s take a look at two things about this approach:

All of the risk is frontloaded. You’re spending time and money acquiring skills that you hope to be rewarded for. Most graduates actually enter the job market and quickly learn that the market doesn’t need those skills.

Many people also quickly learn that their advanced degree makes them overqualified.  

How Entrepreneurs Acquire Skills

Now that we know how the average person acquires skills, let’s look at how entrepreneurs acquire skills. They take a much different approach:

  • They go to the market to find out what problems exist
  • They learn how much people are willing to pay to solve those problems
  • Once they find one that pays well, they acquire the skills needed to solve the problem
  • Acquire clients
  • Use initial clients as hands-on training and refine their offer
  • Present themselves to the market  

An entrepreneur determines what the market needs and then acquires those skills. This means there’s less risk upfront. It still takes time and money to acquire the skills, but you know that you can use them.

What to do next

This is why you should start your business before you have the skills to deliver. Once you start researching, you’re in business. Here’s how to get started:

  • Choose a niche- usually, the obscure, the better.
  • Talk to others in the niche and find out what their biggest problems are
  • Find out what they are willing to pay to solve the problem- it should be worth your time
  • If you’re feeling ambitious, ask them to pay for the solution upfront. This is bold, but it is how you know that they really are willing to pay for a solution.
  • Finally, go acquire the skills you need.  

You don’t need to be a 10,000-hour master of the subject. You just need to know more than the client and know enough to solve the problem at hand.


You don’t have to be an expert to be a business owner. You can start a business before you have the skills. When you’re ready to take that next step, contact Hemmingway Financial Group and we’ll get you started.